By Bryan Florer
During the grand opening of Ojai's new Libbey Bowl this June, a 3-foot steel box will be placed in the ground filled with items from all over the Ojai Valley. The time capsule will not see light again until Ojai Day in the year 2061. Ojai Valley News senior editor Lenny Roberts originally came up with the idea for a time capsule. "I wanted to do a time capsule for a long time and had to wait for the opportunity to come," said Roberts. The opportunity presented itself twice within the past year; it was going to be either the Skate Park in October of 2010 or the new Libbey Bowl grand opening in June. "We decided on the Libbey Bowl grand opening because it is on city-owned land," Roberts said.
The Ojai Valley News and Libbey Bowl organizers are seeking public input and items to be included in the time capsule. Thus far, the response from the community has been "enthusiastic and inventive," according to Misty Volaski, Ojai Valley News managing editor. "We have gotten some terrific responses, and are excited to see what else people come up with."
A drop-off day has been organized for this Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ojai Valley News, 408-A Bryant Circle. Items should be smaller than a basketball, and be relevant to the Ojai Valley (like trolley tokens, newspapers and photographs) and/or life in the current day. Those who cannot make the drop-off day should e-mail ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 646-1476.
Finishing touches are still being put on both the time capsule and Libbey Bowl. One of the questions still to be answered is where in Libbey Park the time capsule will actually be placed. The city offered one spot, Roberts said, but it was not very good for people to see it go into the ground during the ceremony. How the capsule will be sealed is also still in question. The box has been modified from its original design in order for the lid to fit properly. It will be bead welded on, and coating the entire box with a truck bed liner is being considered.
Fifty years is a long time, but "(We decided on 50 years) because people who see it go in could be around to see it again," Roberts said.